Lezbroz Le Racou Argelestourisme Lezbroz 70246Lezbroz Le Racou Argelestourisme Lezbroz 70246
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Le Racou

Racou” means “the nook” in Catalan.
Situated at the junction of the rocky coast and the sandy beach, it is one of the most typical spots on the Argelès coastline.

A few rows of houses within reach of the sea and “coups d’est”; an atypical history; a community spirit that has never died out: welcome to Le Racou, so near and yet so far from the town center, at the foot of the rocky coast.

An atmosphere family

To the south of Argelès-Plage, where the last foothills of the Albères mountains meet the Mediterranean, the sandy coast forms a cove where the hamlet of Le Racou nestles. More than just a neighborhood, this place is almost a village in its own right, and has managed to retain its family atmosphere.

Alleyways sand

The white cottages form narrow, shady lanes with a delightfully retro atmosphere, where you can enjoy a swim or stroll along the rocks to discover tiny, unspoilt coves.

Enter sea and mountains

One of the most beautiful beaches in the region. Originally, there were just a few wooden cabins to welcome bathers. The first “hard” facilities were built in the 1930s. Le Racou has kept its modest dimensions, and is a pleasant place to sit out on the terraces of cafés and restaurants.

A story atypical

The first mentions of Le Racou (“Racho”) in official texts date back to the 16th century. The place was first and foremost known for its watering place, ideally situated on the road leading to Collioure (the present-day Corniche road did not yet exist).

Early 20th century
A handful of cottages; a few strollers in their Sunday best: tourism had not yet taken root in the slightest of minds. Le Racou is still untouched by any trace of “modernity”, as if left in peace by man.

The 1930s
Only a handful of owners had settled in the area: the Argelès-sur-Mer town council rented out plots to the most destitute. These were put up for sale after the Second World War.

Late 1940s
Iron crossbars; submerged concrete pyramids…: the stigmata of the recently ended world war are not visible on this postcard, but very real.
Indeed, the Germans, fearing a landing on the Catalan coast, had transformed Le Racou into a sort of maritime “Siegfried Line”. A strategic error: on August 15, 1944, the Allies would set foot on the beaches of Provence.

The 50s & 60s
Modernity is on the march. Every summer, the “beach train” poured in more and more visitors. Buildings mushroomed, but only 5 or 6 families lived there permanently. Shops remained open year-round: the Colomine family’s grocery store, Margot and Joseph Mallet-Ferrer’s bar-restaurant La Caravelle.

The present day
Le Racou has not lost its original soul…
Despite progress, the demographic explosion (around 100 families live here year-round) and the development of tourism, Le Racou has not lost its original soul. It’s also time to protect the environment. A few years ago, the Racou site underwent an ambitious rehabilitation and development program carried out by the Conservatoire du Littoral. Real estate projects have been put on hold.

Le Racou free commune

July 14th 1957. The Racounians were looking forward to their revolution. They felt increasingly abandoned by the Argelès municipality. Anger was growing. On this national holiday, Astruc, deputy mayor at the time, proclaimed the Commune libre du Racou. Six years later, a putsch “in jest” put an end to the adventure. Was it a picrocholine war? Far from it… The episode enabled Racou to establish its ideological and cultural particularities, which, as much as its exceptional living environment, nourish its charm…

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